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It was getting rarer and rarer these days that Yeon managed to make it to run classes in his own studio which was a shame because he enjoyed it so much, there was always so much energy you could draw from teaching people to dance and he did a lot of 1 to 1 sessions to help people get started and learn. He'd managed to clear his schedule enough this week to run a few sessions and the diary had booked up pretty quickly, he had done about 3 already and enjoyed them very much.
He had just finished doing his stretches and getting himself a water when the PA came in to say that his next student had arrived for their session and he gave a soft smile and nodded indicating they should bring her in. The valkyr didn't recognize the name on the list so he supposed this was a new dancer so he had no idea what her skill level was or what sort of things she was trying to learn so he seated himself on the floor and started stretching out his legs as he waited for her to come in. When she did, he waved with a smile and nodded his head.
"Clara right? Come on in, my name is Yeon and I'll be your dance teacher for today" he smiled brightly as he leaned to the side pushing his muscles a little before returning to his sitting position. He then drew his leg in and sat down in a cross-legged pose as he studying the blonde "So what brings you to my humble dance studio?" he asked curiously wondering what she was looking to get out of the session and whether she was already experienced or not.
She laughed, "I get that, I wouldn't have an answer if someone asked me what my favourite book was either," picking favourites had always been difficult for her but she was grateful he had answered, it showed her a little something about him, and the person he was when he was dancing. Clara had seen street dancers perform before and always admired how free they looked, and how they put everything into every step they took.
"I admire that, to be so free that you could dance in the middle of the store, I'm too...shy, easily embarrassed, to do so," she answered. and then she listened, Yeon seemed wise beyond his years, and his advice spoke to her, "So what you're saying is I should get up in my living room, turn the radio on and dance?" It sounded so easy, she knew dancing was like art there was no wrong way, but she didn't want to look foolish or embarrass herself if only she could learn to free herself from those reigns.
"I'm determined," she replied. And she was, if it took her forever, she would learn how to dance. "I couldn't pick a favourite book if there was a gun pointed to my head, ah the curses of a librarian," she sighed dramatically, a smile playing on her lips. Dancing was turning out to be more fun then she thought it could be. She followed along to his movements, nearly missing a step, but she stayed in balance placing her hand where he directed. "You're very good at this," she complimented.
He chuckled “It’s rare to find something that you feel so passionately about that you love every aspect of it but, when you find it, best hold onto it forever” he nodded slightly, because that was the thing which filled you with life and kept you pushing forward. It was your fallback in life when everything else let you down. Because people could let you down here and there but something like music, dancing or reading, that would never let you down.
He chuckled and shrugged “I used to be withdrawn but one day I woke up and realized that I don’t actually care what other people think of me” he chuckled “Learning not to care was the best thing I ever did” though he knew it wasn’t something everyone could achieve. Nowadays no one would get at his confidence which at times made him seem smug or cocky but that was the price you paid “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying” he encouraged with a cheeky grin towards her.
“That’s the spirit” he echoed in response to her determination, he would admit she seemed to be quite a fast learner and her rhythm was pretty good. He chuckled and shook his head in amusement when she said she couldn’t pick a favorite book “Well can you recommend me something at least? I wanna be able to impress my bibliophile friend” he chuckled, he was sure he would be surprised to find out he had read a book he hadn’t. As they moved they drew a little square on the floor, he lead the way naturally, while making sure to go slow enough for her to fall into the pattern “You’d hope so” he responded to her compliment with a soft smile.
“Your sense of rhythm is very good, you seem to be able to pick it back up even when you lose it for a moment” he nodded slightly “Did you ever play a musical instrument?” people with rhythm like that usually learned it.
She smiled warmly, Yeon got it, that indescribable feeling that pulled you toward the things that you loved, she couldn't imagine her life without books or music, she hoped she would feel that same towards other subjects. Subjects that moved your soul. "I agree wholeheartedly," she replied.
Clara nodded swift and short so she wouldn't mess up the dance too much, "That's something to very proud of most people spend there whole lives looking towards achieving that, I know I still do," she muttered. Self-confidence hadn't been too much of a problem with her, but unfortunately, she still cared too much what people thought about her.
"I could recommend you something, but what don't you tell me what genre you like first, I do read a lot of romances but I'm a dabbler in all sort of books," she replied, the conversation flowing easily, books were always an easy subject to follow. Clara followed his step, making sure not to look down to much. "I think you are,"
She blushed at his compliment, even though she wasn't half bad she could still see room for improvement, she wanted it to look less tense, and flowier like it came naturally to her, but they do say you're your own worse critique and Clara at the moment thought so. "No, though I am practicing piano now, I wouldn't really say that I could play," she moved along with the steps. "Though maybe it has to do with my perception I've always been able to pick up notes or sounds in music, I can hear an instrument and figure out right away what it is," she answered.
He chuckled and shrugged his shoulders “You could call it an early midlife crisis I guess” he hadn’t hit mid life though, he’d hit the end of his life and if he hadn’t been save by a mystery valkyr then he would have never had the chance to change. When he awoken, he had decided it was time to stop holdfing himself back from the things he wanted and to become the person he wanted to be “Start with small things, find something that scares you and do it anyway, you’ll find it’s quite thrilling” he chuckled, that was how you got brave, by facing fear.
He raised his brows curiously, he did like to read books in his spare time, mostly when he was on long flights and needed something to keep him occupied “I like crime books a lot, the ones that leave you trying to figure out the mystery of what happened” he always tried to guess what the twists and turns would be before they happened “Romances huh? I’ve read a couple of the Nicholas Sparks novels, do they count” he grinned and winked, he was sure he could trust her to keep that slightly embarrassing guilty pleasure.
She was a little stiff but that was to be expected on a first practice, first you needed to get used to the rhythm and the pattern and then you would be able to relax and dance easier, he was leading the way but they were repeating the same steps right now, just to get a feel for it. He slowly moved so that the dance was now allowing them to move in a certain direction “It would still help with learning rhythm, you’d be surprised how many people I get in here who have no idea how to even count beats” he grinned slightly “It’s a skill and some might say a talent” he smiled changing the direction and seeing how she managed to handle it.
She wished it were that easy. Facing fears was always easier said than done, Clara had been a young girl when she had been afraid of the dark, her father taught her to move past it but she always felt when the light went down things could be lurking behind the shadows. In the long run, she figured out she wasn't so scared of the dark more of the fear, of the unknown, the things she couldn't see coming, she still hadn't faced that fear, it sat behind corners, in unopened letters and locked basements. "A thrill-seeker then?" she asked. "Do you like the rollercoasters and the scary rides at amusement parks as well?" she teased.
"I hadn't taken you for a crime novelist but, if I had to choose a crime novel that left you wondering, it would be In the woods by Tana French, though I warn you, it won't end how you expect," she answered. The book had left her with many unanswered questions but she figured it was all up to the person reading the book. "Nichlos Sparks does count, and they are wonderful, he knows how to make a real connection with each character and he balances fiction and realism very well," She was always impressed with a man who could admit to reading romance novels, Clara had always wondered where the stereotype came that men could not enjoy them.
"Probably a talent," she muttered following along with his movements. Clara was focusing on it maybe a bit to far, she tried to relax her shoulder whiled still keeping her frame, with a deep inhale she thought she might just be starting to get the hang of it.
He laughed softly when she asked him if he liked roller coasters and the likes “Actually not the biggest fan of those...or rather I like them but all the spinning actually makes me sick” he had suffered from motion sickness before he was a valkyr and you’d have thought it would have gone away but no, he still struggled with it even now “Though I did bungee jump once and that was a lot of fun so...you’re not far off the mark” he nodded slightly “What about you? Ever done anything super crazy like that?” perhaps she seemed like the safe type but he liked to think everyone had a little wild inside them given the right opportunities.
He raised his brows curiously when she mentioned the book and he made a mental note of it, he was definitely going to pick it up and read it on his next plane journey “Those are the best kind of endings, it’s no fun if the ending is exactly what you predicted it to be” if that was the case there was no point reading the story in the first place right? He smiled when she confirmed those Nicholas Sparks novels he read did count “I think sometimes you just need a book which rips out your insides and breaks your heart” he commented with a chuckle remembering how sad those books usually ended. He wasn’t sure he believed in love but stories like those definitely enlightened him on the bonds people could share.
“Good...you’re getting it” he encouraged, he noticed that as more time passed she was moving with more grace and more instinctually “You’re not going to get a perfect flow on day one but it’s definitely a good start, you should be proud” the song they were dancing to came to and end and he smiled letting her go “Okay quick water break and then we’ll up the pace a little” that song had been slow on purpose but soon they needed to get up to a normal speed.
"Bungee jumping really? Would you do it again?" she asked.
Clara could almost laugh at the absurdity, "No, I don't think I've done anything reckless in my life," Clara responded. From the moment she had been born Clara had felt the need to be perfect, maybe that had steamed from her being an only child but she had always wanted to make people happy, with her, with the world. "Maybe I never had the opportunity to be wild and reckless but..." she thought about it for a moment searching for the right words to explain. "I don't think I wanted to, also now I'm afraid of pretty much everything so..." she chuckled. "Though I went down a water slide once, so maybe I have done one reckless thing," it hadn't been that large though but at that time it had been a pretty big accomplishment for her.
"Maybe so, but there's peace in the predictable," she mentioned. How many times had Clara sought the comfort of a hallmark movie, each movie ended the same but somehow she could never get enough. "I have to agree, I read this one book Before we were your by Lisa Wingate and I'm pretty sure it ripped my heart out, I remember reading it late in the night and crying my eyes out, even once it was finished," it hadn't been a romance novel per se, but more of a family getting torn apart and after years they find their way back to each other, relationships in all forms always found a way to move Clara.
She nodded listening to his instructions, she hadn't expected perfection, it would take her a while before she would even consider it good but what she liked about life is that there was always room to grow and to make improvements. She brought her water to her lips and drank it, she hadn't felt too thirsty yet but wanted to stay hydrated. When she set the bottle down Clara looked back at her instructor. "Okay, what next?"
He chuckled under his breath and smiled “Yeah I’d do it again given the chance, it’s a little crazy but there is nothing like a crazy moment to remind you that you’re alive” Yeon never referred to himself as dead, even with people who knew he was a valkyr because he never felt dead and therefore refused to call himself so “Damn...but there had to have been a moment you thought about it right? When you knew everyone wanted you to do one thing but you were tempted to do the other...when you wanted to take a leap without knowing where it might take you” being reckless wasn’t always a bad thing. “There’s nothing to really be afraid of...the only thing I’m really scared of is dying before doing all the things I wanna do” he responded, pressing his lips together thoughtfully “Doesn’t get worse than that” he confessed and then he smiled when she said her reckless was a waterslide.
“Hey if it scared you and yet you went for it anyway...it counts” he assured with a kind smile, he knew not everyone was able to take big steps the way he did but any step at all which challenged you to step out of your comfort zone was a measure of boldness. “True” he commented and smiled softly, there was a certain assurance in knowing you could rely on a certain outcome. He grinned when she talked about he book she had read and how it had been heart wrenching and made her cry, he nodded slightly “Anything that manages to speak to someone on such a personal level like that...it takes good writing...even some worlds we immerse ourselves into when reading feel familiar...if the writer does their groundwork” he could respect fiction which was written well.
He headed over to grab his water bottle to down some of it before he returned back to where she was standing “Next we start waltzing to music which is actually designed for it, it’s one thing to be able to do the steps but it’s another to make them second nature” he nodded a few times “We’re also going to start on some travelling while dancing, instead of going around in a circle with each cycle of moves changing direction, we will do eight in this direction and then eight in the other” he pointed the directions with his fingers before searching on his phone for a more up-tempo practice song and turning it on the speaker, he held up his hands in correct position “Ready?” he questioned with a wry smile.
Clara listened as Yeon talked and for a second she forgot he was a dance instructor, he appeared to know exactly what he wanted for his life and she admired that a great deal, to live like each moment could be your last was a great philosophy for life. Clara tried to as well, but sometimes she had to do something she didn't want to do. Her mind drifted off in her memory picturing that one moment in her life where she had wanted to do what she wanted regardless of the consequences or her responsibilities. "I had wanted to go. I just wanted to get in my car and see the world, I didn't need anyone with me because I part of me wanted to discover for myself, to see what everyone else had seen and talked about..." her voice trailed off, the reason she hadn't gone slipped into her mind, and her heart wandered to that painful memory. "But things didn't work out." she finished. "I guess fear can't control me, but for the time being I let it," it wasn't a healthy cycle but Clara had become comfortable in her daily life.
"At the time it was a big deal, I pushed past my fear and dealt with it, riding the slide had been fun, it taught me a valuable lesson, it seems like it's almost time to relearn it," she replied. "I agree, it does take a lot of groundwork and skill on the part of the writer, but I also think it takes practice," she mentioned, she had written a few papers in her life and even a short story here and there but it didn't come close to the ability to write a novel, and diving headfirst into a work of art written in words instead of paint, she admired authors a great deal to find a way to write each story that needed telling.
Clara listened to his instructions and could feel herself getting slightly anxious, it had been one thing to learn the movement in a circle but to actually be travelling? She took a deep breath and nodded once, like everything else she would learn this too, Clara knew she might stumble or fall but her life was meant to be lived. "I'm ready," she replied as the music filled the room.
Yeon was a very open and honest person and he liked to think that opened other people up around him too, whether it was with his friends, his students or passer bys, he liked to think he was approachable, if not a little narcissistic at times. He felt glad that she was open to talking with him about somewhat more difficult things but he knew better than to pry too deeply “I think we’ve all had that moment where we just want to change everything, feels like everything would magically fix itself” as someone who actually had the means to do that if he wanted, he had to admit he was tempted at times. “Well the fact you acknowledge it is the first step, you have to know what’s blocking you in order to break it down” he nodded a few times, he could respect people who knew their own weaknesses, that took courage.
He couldn’t help but smile as she talked about riding down the slide and how it had been big for her to manage to overcome her fear of it “I bet it turned out to be more fun than you thought it would be too” he grinned slightly, he had been on a few water slides in his life and he quite enjoyed the experience, made him feel like a kid again as he whooshed down the tube. He nodded slightly when she talked about how hard it must be for a writer to build a good story that really spoke to people “Absolutely...they say most writers get their break later in life which means they spend the rest of their time...figuring out their craft” which was honestly impressive to him, one of his friends wanted to be a writer too.
He gave a somewhat lopsided smile when he noticed her nervous expression but the fact she didn’t back down told him he’d found a good student to work with today “Yeah you are” he encouraged, grinning and tapping his toes to the music a little as he got a feel for the rhythm before taking her hands again, this time he counted down before starting to lead the way “And 5, 6, 7, 8” he let her go forwards first, leading his steps backwards, rhythmically to the music, keeping a careful gaze so he could catch any trips.
She laughed. "I wish it were that easy sometimes," Clara replied, because yes she was a dedicated hard worker and yes she liked being able to reap the harvest of her labours so to speak, but sometimes life gave way to many sour lemons for her to handle, they seemed to go bad before she even had a chance to make lemonade. She nodded understanding that acceptance was the first step in healing, heading in the direction of becoming... someone who you wanted to be, she tried at least.
Her lips turned at the memory, "Yes, it had been more fun then I had first expected, it was thrilling, to say the least, for a while I was even tempted to do something bigger but... you know fear," it was like being held back by your own arms, tied down just surviving maybe she wanted to live once in a while, but she apparently was too cautious for anything of the sort. Clara understood the work of a writer because some of her favourite books she would read over and over again, she would notice the structure, and the words, the energy they put into finding facts about certain things like how long it would actually take to bleed to death or if you could survive on coconuts alone? "I get that, I imagine it takes a tone of time to figure out every little detail," she replied.
Through her instructor had told her to keep her head lifted, she found her eyes landing to his feet, trying to follow the movements while mirroring them, she didn't think she was doing too bad, but she could see the confidence she still lacked. She took a deep breath and tried to follow the music, letting it come more natural to her instead of being so forced. "Like this?" she questioned.
He smiled softly, she was right of course, everything sounded easier in principal but much harder to actually do it “I believe you can do it” he responded and winked. He did believe that a lot of fears were only in your head and that if you took a step back then you would be able to break through it. She had come here today to learn something new which showed that she was braver than perhaps she thought she was. It took courage to take a class and just throw yourself into something unfamiliar and she’d said herself that she wasn’t confident in her own dancing skills.
He chuckled softly “That day was the waterslide...maybe next a bigger water slide and before you know it, you’ll be getting on your first roller coaster” motion sickness tended to rule out rides for him but he did like the thrill they brought, there was something special about those moments where you just felt completely weightless, the adrenaline spurring you on. He nodded in agreement when she said that it must take time to be able to figure out the details of the story “Not to mention most artists are perfectionists and something like a story has so much that could be changed” and when you changed something that could have knock-on effects to other parts of the story too.
He noticed that she kept glancing down to her feet which told him that she wasn’t fully confident in the placement of her own feet which was honestly fine because this was her first lesson and she was already doing better than most “You’re getting it...though we’re definitely seeing a little bit of robotic in here” he teased it playfully and smiled “Relax your arms a little, don’t worry, I’m not going to let you fall” he nodded slightly as he led the way in the opposite direction, guiding her by pulling just a little at the right time so she could focus on where to place her feet “See...not bad at all” he responded and smiled.